This situation was seen by all men of state and the people, and they understood that he was psychologically disturbed.

Boston StranglerThe Boston Strangler is a far less exciting opening than the name suggests. Occurring in an inexplicably high 4.7%, this is the 29th most popular opening in the game and fifth most common for Turkey, it’s fair to say it’s a hopeless opening that consigns Turkey to a defensive position, and a weak one at that.

Ostensibly testing the trustworthiness of the Russian, all the opening accomplishes is a horrific tactical bottleneck and wasted units while opening opportunities for Austria and Russia to quickly establish a dominant attacking position – even without Italian help. With no strategic options and a weak tactical set-up, there is very little to recommend this opening.

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Good tests kill flawed theories; we remain alive to guess again.

Hungarian HouseboatThe Hungarian Houseboat is the fourth most popular opening for Austria, used in 4.8% of games. This is despite there being no known tactical or strategic reason why this move is better than any number of alternatives that achieve similar defensive outcomes against Italy and positional outcomes against Russia (including F Tri – Ven varieties and A Vie – Gal options).

Most likely conceding Greece to Turkey the move is certainly pro-Turkish. The implication is that Rumania is threatened in Fall and that Austria will dismantle Russia while Turkey attacks Italy. The strategic idea is sound, but the tactics are highly questionable. Why not open to Galicia? If it bounces then it needed to, and if it doesn’t then this is more a headache for Russia than Budapest is while achieving everything the latter move does.

It’s hard to recommend the opening and certainly no-one historically has stuck their neck out in favour of it. With such a poor reputation it is often seen as a sign of incompetence, and when playing Austria that usually leads to a quick death. For this reason alone, the opening is best avoided.

I Wish I Could Not Write

The Classic Lesspanto is the fourth most popular Italian opening and comes in at number 24 overall. Any time you think you’re not a good Diplomacy player just remember that 7.4% of openings use this objectively poor opening. Unless, of course, you are one of the 7.4%, in which case: stop.

Naples achieves nothing that Apulia doesn’t, but leaves Venice at risk of attack. While the opening is not awful in totality, it is simply worse than the Classic Lepanto, so use the better opening. Apart from the risk to Venice, everyone else on the board will take one look and decide you’re not competent.

While we’ve already seen worse openings than this that have more popularity, but none have such an immediately obvious better move. This means this has the dubious honour of being the most popular opening that should never be used.

Everyone Aims At The Same Meaning, But Many Are The Versions Of The Story

The Dardanelles Opening is the fourth most popular opening for Turkey and is 22nd overall. There’s only trivial difference between this and the more popular Bosphorus Opening.

If Diplomacy was a game of brute force alliance against brute force alliance rather than one that placed a premium on holistic thinking then this would be a very popular opening.

It’s not, so it isn’t. If Russia stabs then this is a worse opening than the Bosphorus, while if they don’t and the masterplan of this opening comes together than the rest of the board will rapidly team up to present a massive coalition to stop the very real threat of two countries behaving as if they were just one power.

What does this mean for it’s usefulness? It’s probably good for Russia/Turkey against five other players who don’t know what they’re doing. That’s pretty rare, but it’s even rarer that in this circumstance Russia and Turkey wouldn’t want to settle the matter from the outset. Stick to the Bosphorus, unless you have a need for variety.

Their Direction Of The War Could Not Have Been Worse

The Ukrainian System is Russia’s second most popular opening and is 18th overall. The reason for this is a complete mystery.

A presumptive alliance with Turkey is required in order to leave the Black Sea neutral, but that means the placement of a fleet in Rumania is a major disadvantage. Meanwhile, if that alliance doesn’t eventuate, the threat of Turkey being in both Black Sea and Armenia is game-ending.

A high risk opening without any discernible reward, the opening is best avoided in general play with better options to achieve the same intent (including substituting F Sev h or A Mos – Sev) available.